Incredible bank fees for charitable trust report!

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12 years 7 months ago #20720 by reggit
I am working with a charitable trust at the moment. I recently moved their accounts to Westpac as National was being quite unhelpful about accounts etc.

As a charitable trust, there are no fees on the account. Good so far.

But every charitable trust has to be audited, and part of that requirement means accountant needs a bank audit statement every year.

National provided these as a matter of course, free of charge.

Westpac didn't seem to know what I was talking about when I asked for this. Once we sorted it out, they advised there would be a fee for this.

I checked with the accountant who said that some banks did charge, and to expect a $25 fee :(

So I checked with Westpac and was told the fee was $50! [:0]:([:(!]

Now I assume that in this day and age, this report is generated by a push of a button from existing computer records. So I am gobsmacked at this charge. $50 is a lot of money for a trust that struggles to pay admin costs...

I have gone back to the bank and asked why there is a charge when we are supposed to be on a fee-free account. Will be interesting to hear what they say...

Anyone else encountered this?

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12 years 7 months ago #303759 by ame

Anyone else encountered this?

So, you did something without researching all of the details, and now you're annoyed because something you assumed would be the case is not.

Yes I encounter this all the time.

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12 years 7 months ago #303763 by reggit

ame;287499 wrote: So, you did something without researching all of the details, and now you're annoyed because something you assumed would be the case is not.

Yes I encounter this all the time.


Thanks ame, input appreciated [}:)]

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12 years 7 months ago #303788 by reggit
Interesting, just spoken to three staff at Westpac, all of whom are responsible for setting up new not-for-profit accounts, amongst other things.

Not one of them was aware there was such a thing as an Auditors Confirmation Report, or that charitable trusts need these supplied, or that charitable trusts have to apply for these to be issued (instead of them automatically being set up for issue at the appropriate date each year when the account is opened) - which begs the question as to how they can provide advice on all applicable fees to those wanting to open a new account?

No wonder they just default to 'this is a no fee account' line...

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12 years 7 months ago #303799 by SusanB
I would say that clearly Westpac don't actually train their staff about charitable trust requirements, and advertise a free fee acct to get the business. I can't see why you would have thought you had to ask about other potential fees when none have been levied before in your experience and the accts are advertised the same way. Not all of us are endowed with superior financial acumen and complete knowledge of all the questions we should be asking. In any future financial decisions we now know where to go to get a list of questions we need to ask before we make a decision - thanks for putting your hand up Ames!

I have been with National for over 25 years now, had a brief flirtation with a Westpac savings acct but didn't enjoy the relationship so ended it.

12 Acres, a few horses and cattle in the western Waikato

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12 years 7 months ago #303801 by DiDi
tigger - not all charitable trusts need to be audited. Have you checked out the Charities Commission website? Yes you do have to do an Annual Return and attach a Financial Statement but it doesn't look too onerous as long as someone has recorded the information throughout the year!

I just took this off their website: Accounts do not have to be audited for the purpose of the Charities Act. However, some charities are required by their rules or other Acts to have their accounts audited. In some cases these are the versions of accounts that are sent to us but we can accept accounts whether they are audited or not.

Guess it is down to your organisations rules! There is also a very good template on www.societies.govt.nz if that is any help.

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12 years 7 months ago #303812 by arnie.m
Tigger

Accountants are never up to date with bank/lawyers charges etc. Banks especially Westpac & ANZ are always changing their charges most months.

Westpac say the account has no fees but this is an extra service and all banks charge for some of these services. Different banks charge for different services.

Why did you leave National? They have always had a better rating than Westpac over the last few years.

I recently changed banks and went into every thing from obtaining an additional statement, ASB charge $20 for that on a "no fee" account. One needs to look and think carefully before changing banks, they are all there to return a profit, some just use other methods which may or may not suit you or your trust.

arnie
88 Valley
Nelson

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12 years 7 months ago #303872 by reggit

arnie.m;287557 wrote: Why did you leave National? They have always had a better rating than Westpac over the last few years.


I am with Westpac for personal accounts as they are the only bank I know of that offers capped rate mortgages, which suit our circumstances well.

I have used Westpac for conferences, institutes etc where two signatories are needed for payments as they are (again, that I know of) the only bank that offers two 'signatory' internet banking which is really useful.

After checking the banks for everything that I think I need to check for, when I ask 'any other fees that I need to know about for this organisation/account', I would expect the staff to know enough to be able to tell me. Obviously not...:( and I'll just have to wear that as a 'live and learn' experience.

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12 years 7 months ago #303889 by The Kats Place
I do books for a non profit outfit who are with them and we pay no fees at all.

kats
Live your life in such a way that it will be easy for people to say nice things at your funeral [;)]

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12 years 7 months ago #303976 by Murray
Check with your auditor if they really need that statement. You might also want to review the rules of the organisation so that a "review" is required rather than an "audit".

Murray - Tuahiwi, Nth Canty
It is better to wear out than rust out - Bishop Richard Cumberland
Wiltshire sheep, hazelnuts, Araucana chooks and Dexter cattle

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